Happy Friday, dear readers! We hope your Friday the 13th turns out better than the one in those movies. At least you’ll be drinking great beer if you grab a few of the ones mentioned below!
• Propeller Brewing released their latest One Hit Wonder late last week, named Down East North West IPA (DENWIPA). This 6.8% unfiltered IPA is an ode to West Coast IPAs, with a solid bitterness and a full blast of pine and citrus aroma. The orange-hued beer features a creamy white head, and a touch of sweetness to round out the big hopping. As with all of their One Hit Wonders, it is available at both their Gottingen and Windmill locations in growler fills only, and on rotating taps in the city, but not for long!
• Expanding on the popularity of the brew, Propeller’s Rye IPA is now available in six packs, as well as bombers. The 6.8% IPA features a generous addition of rye malt for a spicy character to accentuate the citrus aroma from the Pacific Northwest hops. For when you don’t want to drink a full 650ml of the beer, six packs are available at the Prop Shoppe, and the private beer stores, while the NSLC will continue to carry the bombers.
• And great news for those of us who attended the Prop’r Cask Nights in 2013 and 2014, they will be making a return! Propeller will be partnering with a local kitchen to cater their Gottingen St tasting room for an evening of food and fun, featuring special one-off casks and special blends for the occasion. We’ll let you know once the details are released.
• Big Spruce released their very popular Crazy Ivan Double IPA late last week. Brewed with 100% imported German malts, this orange-hued DIPA comes in at 8% ABV and over 100 IBUs, with a beautiful full hop blast on the nose. Due to the sheer volume of hops in the boil, the yield for this brew is less than standard Big Spruce brews, so don’t delay in grabbing a sample or growler at the brewery, or on tap at their accounts.
• And not shying away from the hoppier branch of beers, they recently brewed their Left Breton Organic Conspiracy IPA. This beer uses their own farm-grown organic hops, showcasing their 2015 harvest Cascade, among others. This brew first made its debut in 2013, when their good friends Brian and Rebecca from Crannóg Ales brought some of their own farm-grown organic hops. While they weren’t able to join them for this brew day, they were there in spirit.
• And look out for another conspiracy beer in the coming weeks and months, as the Big Spruce crew is invading Boxing Rock in Shelburne today for a special brewday. Taking a cue from today’s date, they are scaring up an Imperial Brown Ale named Triskaidekaphobia. This fear-inducing 9% beer will be then be conditioned on cherries and vanilla beans, with both non- and Glenora-barrel-aged versions seeing their release. A few members of the Ladies Beer League are in attendance today; follow along on their Twitter to get a peek at the mayhem.
• Distillerie Fils du Roy have released another new beer, North Shore Regiment. The beer was named after the Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army that was founded in Chatham, New Brunswick; they participated in many notable battles of World War II, including the Juno Beach landing on D-Day. The beer is an English Barleywine, a Strong Ale that is rich and malty, with complex flavours that may include toffee, toast, caramel, and molasses. Fils du Roy’s take on the style IS a strong one, clocking in at a whopping 12% ABV! Bittered to 45 IBUs to help balance the strong malt character, it’s available now in 750 mL bottles at the brewery and select ANBL stores; it’s also currently on tap at all four ANBL growler stations.
• Garrison Brewing has announced the style details of their 2016 Home Brew-Off Competition, and it is American IPA with Experimental Feature. This is category is wide open to individual interpretation: as long as it uses an American IPA as its base, and falls within those style guidelines (Style 21A from 2015 BJCP details here), it’s fair game! Novel ingredient additions are encouraged, including fruits, herbs, spices, etc, with your imagination as your only limit, as long as the Am IPA characters still shine through. From the brewery, “If it clearly fits one of the 21B – Specialty IPA sub-styles, then it probably isn’t what we have in mind”. The registration forms will be available shortly (be sure to mark down which special ingredient(s) were used!), and the beers will be due February 11th, with the Awards Gala held March 3rd. So, get brainstorming on recipes, and fire up your kettles for some test batches, Maritime Homebrewers! Post your brewday, and follow along with others as they brew, using the #GHBO16 tag on Twitter.
• And in more Garrison news, their popular seasonal Martello Stout has returned for the cooler months. This year’s batch features a new recipe with a slightly higher 5% ABV, and a higher percentage of oats for a great smooth and creamy character. The chocolate and espresso notes will keep you happy while you curl up by the fire. Look for it on sale in bombers at the brewery and private stores, and on tap in our local market. Also look for their flagship Irish Red in its new branding and large bottle format at the NSLC shortly.
• Bar Stillwell is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and there will be a ton of great beers and food to celebrate. They will be pouring a full complement of local and regional beers on their taps and beer engines, including Red Rover’s VeRRy PeRRy and White Witch, aged kegs of Grimross Chantelope and Tatamagouche Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot, a special one-off cask of Extra Special Bitter from The Brewnosers Homebrew Club (brewed at Good Robot), as well as several great sour Quebec beers, including Trou du Diable Oude Blanche, Ze Blend and L’Ours, and Dunham Tropicale and Assemblage #1. In addition to the taps, they will be popping bottles from Jester King, Dunham, and other beauties they’ve been cellaring. Of course, Chef GR will be serving up some killer food to complement the beers, including smoked brisket poutine and the infamous boatzel. The event kicks off when the doors open at 6pm Sunday, and there are no tickets required. We’ll see you there!
• The anniversary party will also be the debut of Stillwell’s celebratory brew, Two. Brewed at North, Two is a 4.5% “rustic farmhouse” beer, inspired by both traditional saison and modern American farmhouse brewing. It was fermented using a mixed blend of yeasts and bacteria, for waves of funky and tart/acidic characteristics, on an effervescent and light base. It was hopped with Saaz and Sterling, for a peppery and fruity nose. From Stillwell, “It was a very experimental brew but we’re extremely pleased with the results; it turned out just as we’d hoped it would. We’re very grateful to Peter at North Brewing for allowing us to brew this beer at his brewery.” The beer will be available in both draft and bottle-conditioned pours. After the party, bottles will be available for purchase at North, and if you spot it, grab it!, as we don’t expect it to last long.
• There’s a new beer fermenting at Grimross Brewing, and it should be ready in plenty of time for the fast-approaching Christmas season. Dubbel Noel is actually the same recipe as their original Dubbel; however, this time around, the beer will be further conditioned on vanilla beans. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon expects the vanilla to “add depth and richness to the already great flavours of caramel, candy and malt”, providing a subtle – but still enjoyable – contrast to the original beer. The ABV and IBUs (6.8% and 18, respectively) will not change; look for the new beer to be released by early December.
• Speaking of Christmas, next month will feature the first Christmas-themed beer event from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. The Christmas Beer Garden at the Market is currently scheduled for Sunday, December 20th, from 10 am – 3 pm. Visitors to the Boyce Farmers Market will be able to take a break from the shopping and enjoy some brews from Garrison, Grimross, Maybee, Petit-Sault, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and TrailWay. Both 4oz samples and 12oz pours (9oz for cider and mead) will be available, and there is no ticket required to attend. However, those who buy the Early Bird tickets (available at the link above) will receive a special glass which allows for 16oz pours for the price of 12oz, as well as their first four beer tickets on the house. The event will be cash-only, as are many of the Farmers Market vendors, so plan accordingly. And food from the great vendors at the market can be brought into the Beer Gardens area.
• There are two new seasonal beers soon to be brewed over at Hammond River. First off is an old homebrew favourite of owner/brewer Shane Steeves: Foghorn Coffee Porter. Brewed with a grist containing Maris Otter, Crystal 120 L, Chocolate malt, and Roasted Barley, it also features the addition of Foghorn coffee beans from local roasters Java Moose; it should come in at ~6% ABV. Next up is definitely an interesting new experiment: White Stout is brewed with a grist that includes oats and barley, and also features the addition of Foghorn coffee. The beer is further conditioned on cacao nibs, with the intended result being, you guessed it, a pale beer that smells and tastes roasty and chocolatey, like a stout! This one will be targeted at 7.2% ABV and ~37 IBUs. Stay tuned for release details on both beers over the coming weeks.
• TrailWay has brewed up a new Milk Stout, their first since their original “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout”, Double Double, released last March. Similar in some ways to Double Double, this newer “Experimental Milk Stout” made its first appearance last night at the King Street Ale House Cask Night. In fact, future releases of the same batch will continue to be cask-only; while last night’s was served in a standard cask, the beer’s next appearance will likely be served after conditioning on whisky-soaked oak chips. Featuring a higher percentage of lactose powder added in the boil, to boost the beer’s mouthfeel and perception of sweetness, it comes in at ~6.2% ABV. Keep your eyes on TrailWay’s social media pages for future cask releases! And remember that TrailWay is pouring at the Fredericton ANBL growler station this weekend; their Session IPA is on in limited supply, so get over there quickly!
• One of Fredericton’s upcoming breweries, Gray Stone Brewing, has announced recently that their plans to open in the Capital Complex have been cancelled. Instead, they hope to open in another currently-unconfirmed downtown location, where they will still house both a 10 bbl brewery and tasting room. Currently employing three brewers, they still plan on launching with the four beers we’ve reported on before (an American Pale Ale, American IPA, American Stout and Brown Ale), along with several other styles to follow shortly after. We’ll keep you further updated on their progress; right now, plans are to open the brewery and tasting room to the public in May, 2016.
• The James Joyce Irish Pub has announced the third in their series of tap takeovers, Meet Your Makers, for Thursday, November 26th at 7 pm. After initial offerings from Big Axe and Red Rover, the next event will feature Picaroons. We’re not certain on exactly which beers will be pouring, but have been assured that there will be several one-off beers, including at least one cask. It also sounds like several Picaroons staff members will be on hand, eager to chat beer. As always, there is no charge to attend; just pay by the pour!
• Meander River released their Homegrown Wet Hopped Pale Ale a few weeks ago, but we missed announcing it when it happened. Our apologies! Good news, though, as it is currently on tap for growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines. Using a blend of their own farm-grown Cascade and Zeus, the beer was hopped exclusively using the mash tun as a hopback. This allows the characteristic taste and aroma of wet hops to shine through in the 4.2% beer. And for those heading to the brewery this weekend, look for their First Frost Cider and return of Smokey Chipotle Porter.
A few more things before we sign off this week: Speaking of growler fills, Red Rover will be making their debut on a growler filling station early next week. However, it will be not be in New Brunswick, but in Nova Scotia, with RockHead in Halifax pouring their Fall Cider. Charlottetown’s Upstreet has released their Rhuby Social in bottles, joining their Do-Gooder APA and Commons Pilsner, so now you can take their strawberry and rhubarb witbier home in a smaller format. Bulwark’s Winter Cider is back for the season, and will be available at the NSLC shortly. They have also bottled their Hopped Cider, which will be debuting at the NSLC in the next week or two. Though it’s six months away, tickets for next May’s Full House event as part of NS Craft Beer Week have already gone on sale. The event is May 14th, and once again there will be two sessions, 1:30-4pm and 6:30-9pm, and will feature as many NS breweries as can fit in the same room.